Kitchen

How to Build a Custom Kitchen Island Back Panel

Adding a custom back panel to your kitchen island is a great way to elevate your overall kitchen design. For the flip house kitchen, I came up with a custom white oak horizontal plank design with legs. Pairing natural white oak with the quartz waterfall edge countertop on the island created a really nice contrast. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how I did it.

Materials & Tools

Step 1: Build the Legs

First, I built legs for each end using 1x3s. I cut and fastened them together with wood screws as shown below. And used wood screws to fasten them to the island.

Step 2: Add Firring Strips

Next, I added some vertical furring strips to the backside of the island using 1x2s. I ran them from the floor to the top of the cabinets and placed them where the cabinets joined and at the ends. I fastened them to the cabinets using 2″ wood screws. This gave me something to nail the white oak boards to and also created space for the island outlet wiring.

Step 3: Cut and Attach White Oak Boards

For this step, I started with the back of the cabinets first. I measured the length from leg to leg, which was 85″. I cut 6 of the white oak boards to this length. Then I nailed them to the furring strips, stacking one on top of the other.

Then I did the same for the inside of the legs. I cut each of these boards 11 1/2″.

Step 4: Cover Legs

To cover the end of each leg, I cut 4 pieces of white oak to 36″ in length and rip cut them to 3″ wide. Then I applied wood glue to the edge of one piece and clamped it to another to form an L shape as shown below. I did the same with the other two pieces and let them dry overnight.

The following day, I used the finish nailer to attach the leg covers as shown below.

I put the finishing touches on everything by filling all of the nail holes with stainable wood filler and giving the wood a light sanding until smooth to the touch.

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